"None of us are gods, evil, good, or any other kind of god. We are mortal. If I am cut, I bleed. If you are cut, you bleed. We are all flesh and blood. We are born. We live. We die. The only thing that makes us different is that we are a new kind of human being , One day everyone in the world will be like us. We are Tomorrow People, Hsui Tai, and you are one of us!"
1973. Western involvement in Vietnam was winding down in South-East Asia. Watergate. The Troubles continue in Ireland. There are coups in Greece, Chile and Afghanistan. The Yom Kippur War. A global energy crisis. The Three-Day Week. Unemployment and inflation are rife in the United Kingdom. Nuclear weapons and the Cold War overshadow everything.
It was a dark time, so ITV charged former hippie and a producer for the BBC's Junior Points Of View Roger Price
to craft a low budget answer to ratings juggernaut Doctor Who
for Saturday tea-time television.
The Tomorrow People were Homo Superior
, the next stage in evolution with extraordinary abilities, typically telekinesis, telepathy and teleportation (here called "jaunting" from Alfred Bester's My Stars The Destination
). Their name was inspired from (or perhaps inspired) lyrics from David Bowie's Oh You Pretty Things
Between 1973 and 1979 The Tomorrow People
banded together to help usher in a new, peaceful age, fighting despotic governments and strange alien invasions.
Aided by alien
allies in the Galactic Federation, the Homo Superior, who were incapable of using violence to solve their problems, went head to head with a range of threats including their own government, the KGB, the Cyclops
and his shape-changing robot Jedikiah
, The Medusa
, the arch-criminal Spiridon
, alien paintings
, the Heart of Sogguth
, and Adolf Hitler
The Tomorrow People operated from their secret lab
in a disused Tube station
, with the aid of advanced robot clone TIM
Sadly, the budget of The Tomorrow People
was even lower than that of Doctor Who
, although the "perfect dramatic expression of glam rock culture" was almost as popular at the time.
Price stuck with The Tomorrow People
as its main script writer for almost all of its 68 episodes over 22 stories
, some of which were more successful than others, but all of which showcased his anti-establishment views.
There are many episodes available on YouTube (despite the fact it is on DVD), but some two examples:
The Slaves of Jedikiah
, the first story: 1
The Blue and the Green
is considered one of the series high points: 1
A Man For Emily
is considered the most reviled of the series' original run for its high camp and perceived low quality, but is notable for being the TV debut of future Fifth Doctor Peter Davison in a blonde wig and barely-there costume
After eight seasons the show ended with War of the Empires
, by which time Price had moved to Canada and created an anarchic kids sketch comedy show called
You Can't Do That on Television
There were plans for further stories, as indicated by this now missing fan site
As the show aired before VHS was popular there were
and comics in magazines such as Look In
and TV Action. There was also an annual in 1979 which is available as a PDF
Some say it has not aged well
, others say it was never really that good anyway
, but it lives on in DVD format. (Reviews here
, for example).
In 1993, under the name Roger Damon Price, the show's creator returned
from Canada and, with the aid of American money, created a new version
of the Tomorrow People, a distinct but less successful show despite early hopes.
TIM was nowhere in evidence, instead he was an alien ship buried beneath the South Pacific.
Price penned the new series complete run
. It lasted just five stories, but Christopher Lee did turn up in The Rameses Connection
as Sam Rees.
A Bad Dream Gets Real
, the New Tomorrow People's unaired pilot, is on YouTube.
As with so many shows, it remains fondly remembered
despite its foibles. While it lacks a large web presence
there are several fan sites (Warning: plays jaunting sound) keeping the dream alive. You can even scope out some filming locations if you are in London, but Wood Lawn Station was demolished in 2000.
And here is an e-mail list archive of a fan lists from 1996/97 in case you want to know more.
Between 2001 and 2007, the original Tomorrow People continued as Big Finish audio adventures although the series audio is no longer available, as production ceased during the sixth series when Big Finish was unable to renew its licence. Trailers for many of the stories are archived.
The show has its own TV Tropes page too.
Bonuses: Billy Idol's Tomorrow People from his 1990s Cyberpunk LP.
Flintlock Dawn on Top Of The Pops with Tomorrow Person Mike on drums.